The Chancellor George Osborne used his final 2015 Budget statement of this Parliament to announce an unexpected early closure of the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility and Crown Dependencies Disclosure Facilities.
The Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility (LDF) and similar Crown Dependencies Disclosure Facilities provide opportunities for UK residents with undeclared offshore assets to settle and regularise their tax affairs with penalties as low as 10% and in the case of the LDF, immunity from prosecution.
Strong demand originally saw the scheme extended until 5 April 2016, but will now close at the end of 2015 to make way for a new less favourable ‘last chance’ disclosure.
The new disclosure will be offered between 2016 and mid-2017, and could involve penalties of at least 30% with no immunity from criminal prosecution.
Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility
With just over nine months remaining to disclose under the LDF, Ian Leigh, Tax Partner at accountancy firm Jeffreys Henry LLP, strongly recommends any UK residents with undisclosed offshore assets to come forward to regularise their affairs on the best possible terms.
Subject to certain conditions, the LDF is not limited to taxpayers with accounts or assets in Liechtenstein. Provided a Liechtenstein connection is established (we can help with this), the LDF can be used as an umbrella for the disclosure of any worldwide asset.
No Place to Hide
Agreements have now been reached with 92 countries to exchange information on bank accounts automatically every year. Under these agreements, HMRC will receive a wide range of information on offshore accounts held by UK tax residents, including names, addresses, account numbers, interest and balances.
How Jeffreys Henry LLP Can Help
Established for over 130 years, Jeffreys Henry LLP is a top 60 provider of audit, tax and advisory services with the added advantage of international exposure through JHI.
The LDF and other disclosure facilities are highly complex. Expert technical knowledge, careful negotiation and advice can often make a substantial difference to the eventual tax liability, penalty and charges. Our Tax specialist Debbie Dolega and her team have considerable experience in this area and in dealing with tax investigation generally.